Presidential Renewal Program Updates

CIC’s new Presidential Renewal program is designed to support the personal revitalization of experienced member presidents at CIC institutions who will continue to serve in the vital role of the college presidency. Twelve CIC member presidents were selected to participate, and spouses and partners were welcome to join them at the Summer Seminar. Michael Le Roy, president emeritus of Calvin University (MI), and Celeste Schenck, president emerita of the American University of Paris, serve as co-directors of the Presidential Renewal program.

patio with tables, chairs, and fire pit
The outdoor patio space at the Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach hotel provided a peaceful gathering place for Presidential Renewal participants.

“I learned that I can make a new presidency where I already am.”

Anne M. Houtman, President, Earlham College (IN)

This is the inaugural year of this program, which began with an introductory webinar on June 13 that allowed for introductions and an informal format to discuss the program goals and location. The Summer Seminar took place June 25–28, 2023, at the Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach hotel in Carlsbad, CA. The program was carefully planned to allow for a balance of discussion about relevant and engaging content, rest and meditation, and time for reflection as a group, as a couple, and independently.

“Thanks for allowing us to think about our future as a couple.”

Diane Ottosson, Presidential Spouse, William Penn University (IA)

Group sessions included “Sanctuary from Burnout and the Path to Renewal,” “The Non-Negotiables of Personal Leadership Renewal,” and “Saying NO to Say YES.”

Presidents participated in concurrent sessions such as “Taking Deliberately Structured Retreats from the Fray” and “Set up Your Personal Renewal Board; Redesign Your President’s Office Support,” while their spouses and partners participated in concurrent sessions such as “Imagining Renewal for the Presidential Spouse/Partner” and “Support Systems for Renewal.”

“I feel as if we have companions on the journey.”

Gerard J. Rooney, President, St. John Fisher University (NY)

The group also had a choice of afternoon renewal practices including relaxation yoga, “Terra Divina” beach walk, writing prompts, and physical exercise. The Seminar ended with “Design Your Peer Accountability and Resource Network” and “Looking Back, Looking Forward on Your Personal Leadership Renewal Journey.”

CIC is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for its ongoing support of the Presidential Renewal program.